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DEAD EMPIRES is a three-piece heavy instrumental progressive metal band from the Hudson Valley, NY. 

Philip Bartsch- Drums
John Bryan- Guitars
DJ Scully- Bass

While the band is instrumental, they choose not to label themselves as such- the sound is ever-evolving, and they’d prefer to put out music that is organic, natural, passionate- rather than stick to a particular genre. The band likes to combine a wide range of influences to produce a sound that sways from epic, ethereal soundscapes to heavy post-rock riffs, rounded out with good old fashioned sludgy heaviness.

Their new recently-completed new album "Waiting In Waves" is slated for an October 2012 release, and comes hot off the heels of their critically acclaimed MONUMENTS EP. The album was produced, recorded, and mastered by D. James Goodwin (Devo, Murder by Death, Thursday, Kaki King, Norah Jones) at The IkOsOn Studios in Woodstock, NY and features art by Revolution Dream Design ( The album will be available on 12" colored vinyl or digital download. PRE-ORDER “WAITING IN WAVES” NOW at

The album was funded in part thanks to a successful kickstarter campaign, allowing for the vinyl deluxe edition to be produced. Your help was kindly appreciated!

The band’s original EP “MONUMENTS” was recorded by Will Riggs at Bigg Rigg Studios ( and mastered by Bumblefoot (of Guns N' Roses, It is available as a free digital download or on deluxe limited-edition CD, hand-numbered and assembled by the band with exclusive art as well as a bonus track. DOWNLOAD OUR "MONUMENTS" DEMO EP HERE:

The band also recorded a 2-song "SUMMER 2011 DEMO" that is now included as a part of "MONUMENTS". Both MONUMENTS and the SUMMER 2011 DEMO will be made available for free digitally to anyone who purchased a Vinyl copy of WAITING IN WAVES or a CD copy of MONUMENTS, while supplies last (please contact for more information).

The band is currently available for bookings across the north east coast. For booking information, please contact

Check out a video for the song "Hello To Oblivion", directed by Will Joel, here:

Some reviews of WAITING IN WAVES:

“8/10! Memorable, entertaining, intricate and compelling...get your head out of whatever you’re rotting by and check out this band!” -Kevin Stewart-Panko, Decibel Magazine (Nov 2012, Issue 97)

“4/5! If you haven't given this hard-hitting ensemble a chance yet, your time would be well spent getting acquainted with them. ...Dead Empires is an instrumental endeavor, fluctuating between sledgehammer riffs and moments of light repose. One minute, an energetic groove grabs you by the collar, banging your head back and forth vigorously, and the next you're smoothly reclined into a comfortable jazzy interlude. ...Waiting In Waves is a fantastic first full length by a band who is striving to earn an audience.”
-Barry Adkins, Better B# Music Blog (

"4/5! Waiting in Waves shows a confidence in song-writing that makes it seem like the band perfected their sound two or three albums ago, with a creativity that indicates they’ll be keeping it up for many more."

“Waiting in Waves revolves around an axis of rhythmic excellence; the drums and bass mesmerize as they cheerfully beat you to the ground. The multifarious influences at play in the guitar work are well synthesized; the album has a pleasingly uniform and complete vision. When the cards are on the table, riffs always win, and that’s where Dead Empires shine. ...Please pour me another.” -Atanamar Sunyata,

“A+! I’ve stated before that I tend to appreciate genre-fuck bands, and there’s so much fucking going on here between the genres that I think a Dothraki orgy might even pale in comparison. …this is one of the best albums of its kind I’ve ever heard, and I have absolutely no idea why Sargent House hasn’t snapped these gents up yet.”

“Instead clinical Painting by Numbers operate DEAD EMPIRES organic sounding mathematics and give the studio hochgezüchtetem Stop and Go, a rejection.” -Andreas Schiffmann, (via Google Translate)

"Dead Empires sound like what Cloudkicker could’ve been in an alternate universe in which Ben Sharp was influenced by doomy, stoney High on Fire riffs instead of atmospheric post rock and Meshuggah. The Hudson Valley, NY instrumental three-piece brings it hard on their latest offering Waiting in Waves." -Vince Neilstein,

"Dead Empires certainly knows how to fucking play."

Some reviews of MONUMENTS:

“5/5! The skill here makes each track seem layered, genuine and intense. Each song is simple and complex in its own right… The style that Dead empires delivers is so intense you can’t help being sucked in… It’s a great release and its weighted and genuine. I see big things coming for these three dudes from Poughkeepsie NY. So remember the name Dead Empires.”
-Collin Trabacco,

“8/10! It is pure heavy music devoid of any cliche’s usually associated with post-rock, sludge-metal, doom-metal acts. The dexterity the musicians in the band display over the course of the 4 tracks is exciting without being too complex or pompous. There is also a strong emphasis on great songwriting and memorable musical passages that gets stuck in your head instantly. This is a great demo from a band that for once doesn’t really have the usual trademarks of any genre except it kicks ass.”

“Monuments is a solid, up-tempo slab of progressive, sludgy instrumental post-metal, guaranteed to kick you in the face. …their video for “hello” to oblivion should hopefully convince you that this is worth your time.”

“It sounds like a fan of sludge metal got together with a fan of thrash metal, added a prog metal dude, and then, with no one dominating their influences, combined powers equally like some awesome metal version of Captain Planet. …really heavy and genuinely intense.”

“New York’s Dead Empires bridge the gap between hardcore riffery and moments of thoughtful repose. The trio’s debut, Monuments, is an ambitious four-song EP. With rapid-fire riffs and exquisitely buzzing bass lines… the group go to great lengths to provide a set of instrumentals which won’t disappoint.”
-Barry Adkins

"Monuments is intriguing. The band manages to pack quite an array of metal into the four songs and twenty minutes: one can hear sludge metal, bits of progressive metal, and bursts of thrash metal. The EP is certainly going to get attention from a diverse group of music fans, especially because Dead Empires executes each style well without being gimmicky or inaccessible—and without the help of a vocalist."